(I keep running into people who had no idea Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen are in this and/or that it's a Bryan Fuller show and then joyfully bounded off to watch it when they found out. So... go forth! Bound! Be joyous! Don't eat first!)
And then, here's what we discovered when Fuller live-tweeted the encore airing of the pilot Wednesday night:
@BryanFuller: The Marlowe Murders that open the #HANNIBAL Premiere are actually the first murders committed by Francis Dolarhyde, aka, the #REDDRAGON.
Oh! That totally... raises even more questions. But good job making the opening of the series deeply relevant to the rest of it! I look forward to finding out what the hell all that was about while hiding under the covers. Because, you see, the Red Dragon murders take place in Atlanta and... Birmingham. As I keep telling you, there is no way around it: Alabama is the center of the universe.
@BryanFuller: THANKS FOR WATCHING #HANNIBAL LIVE AND LIVE-TWEETING WITH ME! SEE YOU TOMORROW FOR MUSHROOM FUN!
Bullet casings hit the floor: Will is shooting the fuck out of a target at the FBI shooting range. Unfortunately, when he reels the target in, it turns into Garrett Jacob "Sensitive Shrike" Hobbs' milky-eyed corpse, so he starts shooting the fuck out of that, much the way he did the last time he saw Hobbs. Look, this is a guy who was eating girls' livers because he couldn't cope with his daughter going to college, and you shot him into Swiss cheese only after he cut her throat; I think you can cut yourself some slack on this one. Then he wakes to discover that he's been dreaming in the passenger seat of a car, and there's Crawford pounding on the window.
Remember how I said we never found out where Hobbs did his dirty work? Oh, look, it's Further Notice. Turns out Will empathed correctly: Hobbs did, in fact, have a cabin for "honoring" his victims. First off, we have chains and dead deer and a snarling taxidermy wolf head, in case we weren't sure this guy was utterly terrifying, and then a close-up of a single antler with a little EVIDENCE tag, which leads me to wonder if some poor investigator had to go in and tag every single set of antlers. Because they're all here. Minnesota no longer has stags because all of them are here.
I like how even Crawford looks kind of spooked. Will notes rather dryly that this can become a permanent exhibit in Crawford's Evil Minds Museum (no, he really has one); Crawford rationalizes that what they learn about Hobbs will help them catch "the next one like him" (dear God). "There's still seven bodies uncounted for," he adds. "Yeah, well, he was eating them," says Will. Crawford: "Had to be some parts he wasn't eating." Will: "Not necessarily." OH COME ON IT TAKES A REALLY LONG TIME TO GNAW UP SOMEBODY'S SKULL. "All right, what if Hobbs wasn't eating alone? It's a lot of work." I'm saying, Crawford. Such as "someone in a coma, who also happened to be someone he hunted with"? Wait, Abigail Hobbs?
Will considers this for a few queasy moments. "Hobbs killed alone," he insists. I can't tell if he's empathing this objectively or just really, really wants to believe it. The real news, however, is not that there's very clearly a giant set of bloodstained antlers that Hobbs used for his "meat hooks"; it's that Will finds a long, red, curly strand of hair.
Tabloid Motel Room. A true-crime blogger and basically awful person is now (very smugly) uploading EXCLUSIVE PICTURES OF THE MINNESOTA SHRIKE'S NEST!!! to her website. (Side note: Freddie/Freddy Lounds has always been wall-to-wall awful, but male until this adaptation.) (Side-side note: New Freddie's awfulness as a person is a direct inverse to the magnificence of her hair.)
@BryanFuller: @LaraJeanC [Lara Jean Chorostecki] version of #FreddieLounds was inspired by the UK's #NOTW Rebecca Brooks pic.twitter.com/fRHQOQB4Rf
Well, that's a little bit genius.
Oh, look, now we have opening credits! Think the title sequence of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in red wine and you're getting there.
Fewer Viking wails, though.
Academy lecture hall, Quantico. Will steels himself to walk in and start the lecture, knowing full well that... his class is going to give him a standing ovation? "PLEASE, STOP THAT," he snaps. He just wants to give a PowerPoint presentation on how he shot the fuck out of Garrett Jacob Hobbs, okay? Slide 1: Hobbs' resignation letter that Will found at the construction company office-trailer. "Does anybody see the clue?" Hands go up-- "THERE ISN'T ONE." Just a letter with no address, which was the only thing that made Will guess he might be their man. "Just bad bookkeeping and dumb luck," he says, over a slide of dead Hobbs full of bullet holes. Looking up at the photo, Will imagines he's back at the scene--just sitting there on the floor, spattered with blood, shaking helplessly--then flashing back further, to his attempts to keep Abigail Hobbs from bleeding to death. (To review: it was Lecter who eventually strolled in, once he finally got bored of hanging out on the porch with Mrs. Hobbs' body, and saved her.) It's maybe reading a lot into this scene to guess that Will's thinking about both how he's having to make a teachable moment out of something that was really traumatic for him and how he can't believe this victim could be an accomplice. But I feel like that's what's happening.
"Garrett Jacob Hobbs is DEAD," says Agent Obvious. "The question now is how to stop those his story is going to inspire. He's already got one admirer." [Slide 2: Stag Head Field Kabuki AUGH.] To review: Hannibal Lecter is the worst at helping.
(Even after I'd posted the recap, I couldn't put my finger on why Lecter would call up Hobbs and warn him--until I realized that, if they caught Hobbs, the investigation's over, Lecter's new friends go home, and he has no one to play with. He wanted Hobbs to run, so that he and Will could keep "investigating" him; that's why he was on the porch all like, "Huh. Started killing his family. Didn't see that coming. Bonus, I guess." This is my theory, at any rate.)
After class: O hai, it's Dr. Alana Bloom! To review: She liiiiiikes him. "How are you, Will?" "Uh... I have no idea," he admits. "Um, I didn't want you to be ambushed," she says, BUT HERE'S CRAWFORD RIGHT BEHIND HER O HAI.
"How was class?" asks Crawford. Will grouses, "THEY APPLAUDED. IT WAS INAPPROPRIATE," NOT TO MENTION DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO HUMAN INTERACTION. Ah, but we want to give you a commendation, Will! (WILL THERE BE SOCIALIZING?) Come back to the FBI! But only if you want to. Only if you feel like it. (But seriously, come back to the FBI.) First, though, Crawford will need a psych eval on him. "Are we starting now?" Will asks nervously. "Oh, the session wouldn't be with me," Alana says quickly, because they can't be in a room alone together, because she liiiiii~iiiiiikes him. "Hannibal Lecter would be a better fit," Crawford says brightly, and I fell over laughing. (People In Hannibal Don't Know They're In Hannibal! They don't knoooow!) Alana gently reminds Will that a "deadly force encounter is a lot to digest," especially since he's never killed anyone before (thanks for bringing it up again). But he used to work Homicide! "The reason you currently USED to work Homicide is because you didn't have the stomach for pulling the trigger," Crawford reminds him. "YOU JUST PULLED THE TRIGGER TEN TIMES."
"So... the psych eval isn't a formality?" asks Will, somewhat startled. "NO, IT'S SO I CAN GET SOME SLEEP AT NIGHT," says Crawford. "I ASKED YOU TO GET CLOSE TO THE HOBBS THING. I NEED TO KNOW YOU DIDN'T GET TO CLOSE, BECAUSE WE HAD A WHOLE SCENE LAST EPISODE WHERE ALANA INTIMATED I BETTER TAKE CARE OF YOU OR SHE WILL CUT ME." "Seriously, I will cut him." "Come on, Will! I NEED MY BEAUTY SLEEP!" Man, I love Laurence Fishburne.
"Why not have a conversation with Hannibal?" says Alana. Ahhhh, she's the Good Cop in this routine. "He was there. He knows what you went through." He caused you to go through it, in fact! He is definitely a helper.
Cut to: The Best Office Ever.
There is A LOFT LIBRARY in it. What kind of cannibal bookworm paradise is this. Also, Lecter has very thoughtfully prepared a pre-fab evaluation asserting that Will is totes okay and "more or less sane." Will: "Did you just rubberstamp me?" "Yes," Lecter says with zero compunction, because we're not having any of this "making sure you're fit for a vocation involving firearms," Will, how tiresome. Will denies that he needs therapy; Lecter thinks that he needs, rather, "a way out of dark places when Jack sends you there," never mind that Lecter will be merrily skipping after him into the dark whole way. "Last time he sent me into a dark place, I brought something back," says Will ominously.
"A surrogate daughter?" Busted. Yeah, Will's been hanging out in Abigail's hospital room there in Baltimore, while she lies there in a coma. "You saved Abigail Hobbs' life. You also orphaned her." I mean, not to put too fine a point on it, or anything. "That comes with certain emotional obligations, regardless of [your imagination having all the feels, all the time]." Retorts Will, "You were there, you saved her life too [eventually, when you felt like it]. Do you feel obligated?"
To my surprise, Lecter actually says, "Yes. I feel a staggering amount of obligation." Not sure if lying...? "I feel responsibility." WELL YOU DAMN WELL SHOULD. "I've fantasized about different scenarios where my actions may have allowed a different fate for Abigail Hobbs." You know what? I don't want to know what this guy fantasizes about, ever. Will nods mournfully: "Jack thinks Abigail Hobbs helped her dad kill those girls." Lecter considers this for a moment: "How does that make you feel?" "How does it make you feel?" retorts Will, with this hilarious "lol therapy" face. Lecter: "I find it vulgar." (Of course he does.) "Me too," Will says a little too quickly. Adds Lecter, "And entirely possible." Well, that's not what Will wanted to hear. And he is not interested in your People Covered in the Blood of Abigail Hobbs Support Group, either. But "the mirrors in your mind can reflect the best of yourself," Lecter tells him (dare I say gently?), "not the worst of someone else." Aw, that's really sweet, except for the part where Lecter's probably drawing up plans to turn Will's mind-mirrors into a funhouse as we speak.
Somewoods, Somewhere: Three boys with Staves of +3 Getting Lost stumble upon a weird setup of tubing and stakes. "I bet it's marijuana." "Mushrooms... look, they got tubes to water 'em or something." "Nah, it's a marijuana plant." They're mushrooms, you idiot--what are they teaching the children in school these days? Also, no. It's not marijuana, it's MUSHROOM FUN.
Meanwhile, back at the firing range, Will is, once again, shooting the fuck out of things. "I'm pretty sure firearm accuracy isn't a prerequisite for teaching," Investigator Beverly observes archly. But he is back in the saddle now ("saddle...ish," says Beverly. "Ish indeed," says Will), and it "took me ten shots to drop Hobbs." Honey, it didn't actually take you ten shots to take him down, you just wanted it to. I personally would have reloaded and shot his punk murderizing ass ten times again, but then, that's why I'm not allowed in the FBI.
(Beverly tells him that Investigator Brian wanted to give Will the Hobbs Death Bullets in a fancy case, but "I told him you wouldn't think it was funny." Beverly, on the other hand, wanted to have them made into "one of those clackin' swingin' ball things." "That would've been funny," he admits.)
Apparently, also, there are Weaver and Isosceles shooting stances, and Will has to use the Weaver because he has a rotator cuff issue (stab wound from the Homicide days, ouch). "You are tight," says Beverly (leaving that riiiiight therrre), laying a hand on his shoulder. So she moves him into a different position, and it does help with the recoil. And you know, it seems like this is going to be one of those "let me get my hands all over you to show you how to do something right (unf)" scenes, but I really don't get the feeling like they're trying to make Will/Beverly a thing. It feels more like Beverly's just a very outgoing person who wants to help Will, and in choking down his horror of human contact for a solid minute, Will finds that accepting help makes his life better. That's what I got out of it, at any rate.
"You come all the way down here to teach me how to shoot?" "No," she says, smirking (Beverly is always smirking, and I kind of love it), "Jack sent me down here to find out what you know about gardening."
Somewoods, where AUGH GOD MUSHROOMS ARE PEOPLE hworf. True story: When I was about two or three years old, I loved mushrooms. Like, you know, the canned sliced kind, nothing fancy. I loved them in my mother's spaghetti sauce, ate as many as I could find, asked for more. Then, one day--I was a toddler, bear in mind--I looked down at my plate and spontaneously thought, That... looks like an ear. I couldn't quite articulate "that looks like a severed ear floating in gore," but that's the mental image I was having, yeah. And I have not been able to eat mushrooms in the 30-plus years since. I mean, if you sneak them into pizza and I don't have to look at them much, maybe. What I'm saying is, it's a good thing I already don't care for/about mushrooms because GOD KNOWS I'D NEVER EAT THEM AGAIN NOW. Sure, let's definitely show the investigators painstakingly lift fungus-farm bodies out of their shallow planter boxes--wait, did you guys seriously just slow down the shot of a corpse's mouth peeling off? Of all the things that have happened in these two episodes so far, that's the one that made me blurt out "OH JESUS," so.
@BryanFuller: TONIGHT'S #HANNIBAL HORROR HOMAGE #MOTELHELL pic.twitter.com/dOGQIsjPCF
"So, Lecter gave you the all-clear," Crawford expositions as he and Will trudge through the woods. "Therapy might work on you after all." "Therapy is an acquired taste which I have yet to acquire," says Will, because they're contractually obligated to drop a "taste" pun at least once per episode.
"Okay," announces Investigator Jimmy, "we've got nine bodies in various stages of decay, and as you can see, all very well fertilized." And it was only when he said nine that I went, wait, I guess this isn't about where Hobbs put the missing girls; unless I missed something, they didn't tell us what state/city/woods/hellholeofmynightmares they're in this time, and I got a bit lost. So this is a completely different outlandishly creative serial killer, then. "He buried them in a high-nutrient compost," notes Beverly, "enthusiastically encouraging decomposition." Investigator Brian explains that the Mushroom Farmer buried his victims alive "with the intention of keeping them that way--I mean, for a little while. He was feeding them something." Jimmy thinks this is so the mushrooms would "eat away distinguishing characteristics," which would be a nice, relatively reasonable idea (for a killer disposing of bodies, anyway), so of course that's not going to be why he did it.
("You find any shiitakes?" asks Beverly.)
("Welcome back," Crawford deadpans to Will.)
Meanwhile, over to the side, there's Freddie Lounds being awful with her stealth camera. She then pretends to be the mother of one of the Lost Boys to chat up the incredibly gullible officer guarding the DO NOT CROSS line: "Could you tell me what that man is over there doing by himself?" Aw, did Crawford forget to bring the neon EMPATHING IN PROGRESS sign? "He's some kind of special consultant," says the officer. "Works for the FBI." "Huh," says Freddie, the wheels visibly turning in her head.
GTFO, tout le monde, it's empathing time. Mental Will reverses the mushrooms, the decomposition, the shovelful of dirt flying onto the graves. My mushroom phobia would like to reverse having seen these particular images. Maybe there's a support group for this? Now Will imagines himself as the Mushroom Farmer, shoveling in that dirt: "I do not bind his arms or legs as I bury him in a shallow grave. He's alive. But he will never be conscious again." He imagines taping a ventilator mouthpiece into a victim's mouth, then puts in an IV and ties the victim's hand up to a gardening stake, the way the bodies were found. "He won't know that he's dying. I don't need him to. This is my design." Aaaaand there in the grave is milky-eyed Garrett Jacob Hobbs, like this isn't hard enough for Will already. So right as Will's trying to get a panic attack under control, THIS happens:
(everybody dying of heart attacks)
(nobody eating mushrooms ever again)
The guy waking up is the one whose face peeled off, by the way, just in case you hadn't keeled over yet.
The Best Office Ever. Will tosses the happy rubberstamp evaluation letter back onto Lecter's desk:. "This may have been premature." "What did you see in the field?" asks Lecter. You mean besides the handsy mushroom zombie? (Who, Will says, died on the way to the hospital. I figure you need to know that it didn't somehow get even worse.) "Hobbs. I saw him lying there in someone else's grave," says Will, practically hanging his head. "Did you tell Jack?" "Pssh, NO." Heh. "It's stress," Lecter says stalwartly (the "because seriously, you were grabbed by mushroom people" is silent). "Not worth reporting." Come onnnn, Will! If we go tell Uncle Jack he won't let us play anymore! "You displaced the victim of another killer's crime with what, arguably, could be considered your victim."
Aaaaand the head games begin.
"I don't consider Hobbs my victim," Will says, clearly Not Happy about this turn of phrase. Well, what do you consider him? "DEAD." Touché. "Is it harder imagining the thrill somebody else feels killing, now that you've done it yourself?" asks Lecter. Will looks like the lostest little boy when he's finally able to nod: yes. You guyyyys, he walked right into it and it hurts my heart.
Fortunately for everyone involved (us included), I guess Lecter decides that he just doesn't have the time or energy to set up a copycat mushroom farm to show Will what's really going on with this guy, so they just talk it out as if Lecter were not actually the worst person ever. How, precisely, Lecter makes this jump, I'm not sure (I didn't go to cannibal school), but: "The structure of a fungus mirrors that of the human brain: an intricate web of connections." "So maybe he admires their ability to connect the way human minds can't," Will says, because obviously. "Is that what your farmer is looking for?" asks Lecter. "Some sort of connection?"
We'll get back to that later, because guess who's recording this entire conversation from behind the door?
I'll give it to Lecter's next patient, "Miss Kimball": she looks as impressed with The Best Office Ever as I am. Freddie lies her face off that she's shopping for psychiatrists, and Lecter's one of three she's considering: "It's more or less a bake-off." "I'm very supportive of bake-offs," Mads Mikkelsen somehow says with a completely straight face. But why do you need a psychiatrist now, exactly? "Do you mind if I ask you a few questions first?" she chirps. "I love that you've written so much on social exclusion. Since that's why I'm here, I was wondering--"
"Are you Freddie Lounds?"
(She makes a wonderfully petulant face in response, by the way.)
"I am so embarrassed--" "I'm afraid I must ask for your bag." Freddie, flatly: "What." "YOUR BAG. Please, hand it over." (More petulant faces.) "I'd rather not take it from you." O GIRL. GIVE HIM THE BAG. "I was recording our conversation," she blurts out as he starts to open it. "Yours and mine? No other conversation? You were very insistent about your appointment time. How did you know Will Graham would be here?" "I may have also recorded your session with Will Graham," she 'fesses, like that horse isn't way out of the barn and galloping down the street right now. But how did she know Will would be there? Freddie won't answer. "Come. Sit by me."
Freddie's going to be with us for a long time; I can't pretend I don't know that from the books and movies. I can't pretend like I genuinely think she's going to be on a platter two hours from now. However. Even considering that I know this, I started doing the Flappy Hands of Flail right... here. FREDDIE. YOU IN DANGER, GIRL.
On an incongruously pastel sofa,
(I hate you, Freddie, but I enjoy your wardrobe)
Lecter insists that she delete everything before he puts the recorder back in her purse. "You've been terribly rude, Miss Lounds"--OHHHHH NOOOOO--"what's to be done about that?"
Cut to: PORK. Pork is what is to be done about that.
In case you were wondering, an apéritif is a drink served before dinner, although Wikipedia adds that it can mean food, like... an amuse-bouche, a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre (which itself means "apart from the [artistic] work"). Basically, they're giving the episode titles the structure of a menu, which is both cute and... ominous. Because immediately cutting from Freddie to Crawford having dinner at Lecter's house is this show's idea of "just getting started."
Supposedly Lecter serves a roast loin of
(Mikkelsen definitely goes subtle, the way he plays Lecter. But watch the way Lecter watches the other characters eat his cooking. Every time.)
Obviously, Will is the primary topic of conversation. "Are you not accustomed to having broken ponies in your stable?" asks Lecter. Crawford: "You think Will Graham's a broken pony?" "I think you think Will is a broken pony." What's the cutie mark of an FBI Profiler Haunted by His Work, do you think? "Have you ever lost a pony, Jack?" What are we talking about. "If you're asking me whether I've ever lost someone in the field, yes," Crawford says impatiently. "Why?" "I want to understand why you're so delicate with Will. Because you don't trust him, or because you're afraid of losing another pony?" Crawford gives Lecter a knowing look: "I've already had my psych eval." "Not by me," says Lecter, smiling. "You've already told me about your mother. Why stop there?" So... a toast to free therapy sessions, I guess? I feel like this will end well.
Forensics Lab. Brian informs the gang that all the mushroom victims died of kidney failure, not... general mushrooming. "Dextrose in all the catheters," reports Beverly. "Force-feeding them sugar water?" asks Will. Jimmy: "You know who loves sugar water? Mushrooms. They crave it." (How is this a thing you know? You know what, don't tell me.) Brian: "Recovering alcoholics, they crave sugar--don't take that personally, buddy." Jimmy, hilariously: "Oh, I'm not recovering." Come sit by me, Scott Thompson. Alcohol will be In It.
@ScottThompson_: aaron was really drunk that day and couldn't remember any if his lines. I saved the day.
@BryanFuller: @ScottThompson_ Who are you to talk? You're so drunk you can't spell "of."
Brian explains that fungus in your body creates alcohol, "so it's like friends helping friends, really." (WOOOOO! PARTY IN MY FUNGUS!!) And then Will realizes they're not dealing with a lab full of alcoholic corpses--they were diabetics. "He induces a coma and puts them in the ground," he says, then deduces that the Mushroom Farmer is a doctor or pharmacist who's screwing around with people's insulin prescriptions.
[Cut to: A PHARMACIST SCREWING WITH SOMEONE'S INSULIN PRESCRIPTION]
Apparently the customer in question is a character brought over from Wonderfalls? "There you go," says the Apparent Mushroom Farmer, having switched out her insulin with a fungus coma dose. "And that's your correct address?" So what I'm getting out of this series, basically, is that everyone everywhere in every job wants to kill you.
Now, there's a commercial break between that scene and the next one, so the timing on this is confusing, but the next thing we see is the Farmer filling someone else's prescription while an entire SWAT team runs through the parking lot. (I like the jaunty Stealth Drums.) "She's the chain's tenth diabetic customer to disappear after filling a prescription for insulin, the second from this exact location," Crawford says (presumably of Wonderblonde) as he and Will stride through the back rooms of a supermarket. The pharmacist is apparently a "floater," meaning he works at more than one store, and "floater's floating right here. He's still logged in to his work station." Meanwhile, the customers in the frozen foods aisle are putting their hands up. "EVERYONE PLEASE STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING; PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!" Crawford shouts, and tells the other pharmacy workers that he's looking for one Eldon Stammets. Oh, look, he was just here, poof, where'd he go--"Is his car still in the parking lot?" asks Will ("HIS CAR!!" bellows Crawford), and, fortunately, it is. Will smashes open the driver's window and pops the trunk, where they find 1) a horrible stench and 2) a still-living Wonderblonde in the process of being shroomed, but God knows where Stammets ran off to. Because when I want to farm mushroom people, I definitely want to do it in a car trunk filled with dirt while I'm on my shift at Publix, but when the chips are down, you and me are done, port-a-farm.
On the upside, Crawford points out, they have Stammets' name, address, car, mobile mini-farm and backwoods mushroom garden, so they've got that going for them. On the downside, Jimmy runs up with some bad news: "We just checked the browser history at Stammets' work station." "Am I gonna wanna hear this?" asks Crawford. Jimmy: "No. And yes. But mostly no."
Apparently Stammets is a fan of tattlecrime.com, where Freddie is now devoting a good bit of clickbait to Will: "The FBI isn't just hunting psychopaths, they're headhunting them too, offering competitive pay and benefits in the hopes of using one demented mind..." Beverly reads aloud, faltering. "GO ON," says Crawford, like Will isn't standing right there with that sad puppydog face. What about your fragile teacup?! "She goes into a lot of detail," Beverly says, declining to continue. Crawford actually headdesks: "SON OF A BITCH!"
Meanwhile, at The Best Office Ever, Lecter is also reading Tattle Crime (download their iPad app today!). "You are naughty, Miss Lounds." O girl.
At the Tabloid Motel Room, Crawford busts in with a posse of agents who throw Freddie down onto the bed and cuff her with plastic restraints, because can he do that? I'm not sure he can do that. "I appreciate the pageantry, Agent Crawford," she snarks, "but you can't arrest me for writing an article." No, but how about entering a federal crime scene without permission? Under false pretense? Lying to an incredibly gullible police officer? "You can't arrest me for lying," she insists rather cynically, which is basically Freddie Lounds in a nutshell. "You got all that information from a local detective?" Crawford asks skeptically, and the camera focuses on Brian looking shady in the background. She passes it off as benefiting from a theoretical "pissing contest" between local police and the FBI. "You know, the unfortunate timing of your article allowed a murderer to escape," Crawford tells her. And then he reaches out with a pair of tweezers and plucks a single hair from her unsuspecting head: he can indict you for obstructing justice at the Shrike's nest, contaminator! "I'd appreciate it if you didn't," she says--defiantly, somehow. "You don't write another word about Will Graham and I WON'T HAVE TO." EXEUNT CRAWFORD AND POSSE.
If I hadn't read this tweet--
@BryanFuller: #DELETEDSCENE We shot a sex scene between @LaraJeanC [Freddie] & @MrAaronAbrams [Brian] but Aaron's face was so buried he couldn't be identified it got cut.
--during the first half of the show, I would be incredibly confused as to why Brian kept shooting Freddie dark looks throughout this scene, and why he mutters "You used me" as he leaves--but it's so muffled that it sounds like they're almost hoping we don't hear it and wonder what the fuck anyone is talking about. I guess Brian is the source Freddie didn't want to tell Lecter about, which... kind of seems important?
Meanwhile, Will has fled to the "comfort" of Abigail's hospital room. The clacking of Alana's heels as she approaches turns into a Dire Ravenstag clopping down the hall in Will's dreams--
@BryanFuller: The #BLACKSTAG that haunts #WillGraham's Dreams is an amalgam of the severed stag head and the corpse-picking ravens. pic.twitter.com/kTnEe0DkiS
Oh. So... that's nice.
Will wakes to find that Alana has tucked a blanket around him on the sofa and is sitting on Abigail's bed reading Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" aloud (...yeahhhh). She says that she was obsessed with O'Connor as a teenager and tried to raise peacocks just like her but they were "really stupid birds." Will: *BLINK.* "You could be reading to a killer," he says, meaning the unconscious Abigail. "Well," Alana says, "innocent until guilty and all that," and I don't know if it's significant that the word "proven" isn't in there or not. Jack didn't send her to talk about the Tattle Crime article, though: "I sent me." Will realizes that they've never been alone in a room together, because that would involve socializing and God knows we can't have that, and also, that's not a totally weird thing to say out loud. "I haven't noticed--have we?" she lies, like a lying liar who liiiiiiiikes him. Should we talk about the article? Not talk about it? Talk about not talking about it? "Actually," he says, "I was just enjoying listening to you read." AWWWWW.
(He should consider Abigail a success, Alana adds, and not feel sorry for himself. "I don't," says Will. "I feel... good." And the look on his face suggests that maybe that's the problem.)
Tabloid Motel Room. Outside, Freddie is confronted by the Incredibly Gullible Cop, who's in deep shit now: "They think I told you ALL OF IT." He's only been suspended so far, but Freddie cheerfully informs him that Crawford will see to it that he's fired--but hey, she can get him better-paying work in private security, so all's well that ends well, right? "Not the first cop you got fired," he says, indignation dawning. "Right now, Future You is thanking me," she says, and BAM! irony bullet to the head. He is definitely an ex-cop now. And that's the part where I had to clap my hand over my mouth not to scream the house down. Good times.
"I read your article," says Stammets, waving his gun while Freddie stares at him, splattered with blood. "Tell me about Will Graham."
After the break, Crawford is somewhat surprised to realize that the eyewitness sitting in the ambulance is Freddie. "Hey Jack," she calls. "Where's Will Graham?" She is, I might add, inhumanly calm about the whole situation: "[Stammets] was talking about people having the same properties of a fungus. Thoughts, leaping from brain to brain. They mutate, they evolve." (Wait, are we sure Lecter's not the magical mind-reader here?) And he wants Will: "Someone who understands him. Graham was right. Stammets is looking for connections." Crawford: "What did you tell him?" After a long pause, Freddie admits, "I told him about the Hobbs girl." "WHAT. DID YOU TELL HIM." "... Everything." Of course she fucking did. Stammets now wants to help Will connect with Abigail by BURYING HER ALIVE. Well! Congratulations, Freddie! You're our new candidate for WORST AT HELPING.
I'm glad we take care of this next part pretty quickly, which is basically that Crawford calls Will, blessedly gets hold of him immediately, and sends him off running to Abigail. Stammets has already disguised himself in hospital scrubs and made off with her on a gurney, but Will's able to chase him down, gun drawn, ASAP. And then he shoots the fuck out of Stammets' shoulder. Gold star! Stammets drops a gun as he falls to the ground; Will kicks it away, demanding, "What were you gonna do to her?"
"We all evolved from mycelium," says Stammets--wait, what did they teach me in school, I didn't know this?
Furthermore, we’re more closely related to these behemoths than you might imagine: even though the animal kingdom branched off from its fungal counterpart some 600 million years ago, we still share over half our DNA with fungi.
Huh. I'll be damned.
Stammets, meanwhile, is deeply disappointed that Will is not on board with his plan to reintroduce Abigail to the concept of fungus. "If you walk through a field of mycelium, they know you are there, they know you are there," he insists. "The spores reach for you as you walk by. I know who you're reaching for. I know. Abigail Hobbs. You should have let me plant her. You would have found her in a field, where she was finally able to reach back!" I'm creeped out by this whole monologue, yes, but I'm more concerned that Will seems to be, albeit frozen with a certain amount of wide-eyed horror, entertaining the thought.
Before we find out who, exactly, pulled Will away from the dread thrall of the Mushroom Whisperer, however, we're back at The Best Office Ever. For once, Will didn't imagine Dead Hobbs in anyone's place, so Lecter concludes that it wasn't really Hobbs who was haunting him: "It was the inevitability of there being a man so bad that killing him felt good." "Killing Hobbs felt just," insists Will. "Which is why you're here," says Lecter. "To prove that sprig of zest" (REALLY?) "you feel is from saving Abigail, not from killing her dad." Yes, but Will felt no ~sprig~ when he shot Stammets--well, but "you didn't kill Stammets," Lecter points out. A long pause. "I thought about it," Will says, shaking. (Hugh Dancy is really, really good through the whole episode, but particularly here.) "I'm still not entirely sure that wasn't my intention, pulling the trigger."
"If your intention was to kill him, it's because you understand why he did the things he did. It's beautiful in its own way" (Will turns to look at him because what the fuck), "giving voice to the unmentionable. Did you really feel so bad because killing him felt so good?" "I liked killing Hobbs," whispers Will, trembling. "Killing must feel good to God too," says Lecter. "He does it all the time. And are we not created in His image? God's terrific. He dropped a church roof on 34 of his worshippers last Wednesday night in Texas, while they sang a hymn." "And did God feel good about that?" asks Will, in a panicky, almost childlike tone, like he thinks Lecter actually personally knows what God thinks.
"He felt powerful," says Lecter.
Will stares at him, shaking.
That's the end of the episode.
(As Bryan Fuller pointed out, that scene is adapted from a letter Lecter writes to Will in Red Dragon, and it's always been one of my favorite parts of the series
("God's terrific." *flail*)
I think it's worth talking about another viewer disconnect possibly going on here, regarding Will being unable to cope with having to wear the white hat and the sheriff's badge, existentially speaking. I know I had it at first--you're like, Yes, of course you enjoy killing really bad people, because they are REALLY BAD PEOPLE, and I wish there was someone out there avenging innocent victims and making sure no one else ever gets hurt. See also: all superhero movies ever. I mean, I just said up top: "I would have reloaded and shot Hobbs ten more times." But would I have really done that? It's incredibly easy to say so when it's a television show. Because this is entertainment, for lack of a better word--not necessarily violence as amusement, but as catharsis. We want to see Will save people, and if that means a killer (who we saw killing; who we know is objectively guilty) doesn't actually get a drawn-out trial he might not even lose, fine by us. It's one thing for us as an audience to get that over-the-top fantasy reassurance. It's another for Will, in the life he knows as a character, to do that reassuring. Because his job is to track down people who act on terrible impulses, and he just had one that he acted on, too. I guess that's what "See? See?" meant: "See how good it feels to kill someone? Now you know why I was doing it." And if he knows those terrible impulses now--does that mean someone's going to have to stop him someday, too? It's easy for us to just wonder why he doesn't want to be Dirty Harry, the way we think we'd like to be, but it's actually threatening his entire concept of who he is and why he's here.
TL;DR: It's an unexpectedly good show.
(Continue: 1x03: "Potage.")